It’s been a while since I’ve been to a procession. And if you’ve read my blog before you know that I love a good procession. Well, today was my day. Today we were celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and there was going to be a procession after mass in her honor. In El Salvador, children and sometimes adults get dressed up on this day in indigenous dress. I wasn’t aware of this until I saw several children coming to the park dressed up. They do this because the Virgin appeared to San Juan Diego, who was an indigenous man who had converted to Catholicism.
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Here is some information about Our Lady of Guadalupe:
Our Lady of Guadalupe (Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe) is a celebrated Roman Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary. Under this title, she is officially proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church as the Patroness of Americas, Empress of Latin America, and Protectress of the Unborn Children.
According to Roman Catholic tradition, on December 9, 1531, Juan Diego, a recently converted Aztec indigenous peasant, had a vision of a young woman while he was on a hill in the Tepeyac desert, near Mexico City. The lady asked him to build a church exactly on the spot where they were standing. He told the local Bishop Juan de Zumarraga, who asked for proof in exchange.
Juan Diego went back later and saw the lady again. He told her that the bishop wanted proof, and she instructed Juan Diego to go to the mountain top, where he found Castillian roses, which were native to Bishop Juan de Zumarraga's hometown and could not possibly bloom during wintertime. Juan Diego cut the roses, placed them in his apron-like tilma and returned to the bishop; an imprint of the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared on the tilma from the residue of the soil and roses.
Today, the icon is displayed in the nearby Basilica of Guadalupe, now one of the most visited Catholic shrines in the world. The Virgin of Guadalupe is Mexico’s most popular religious and cultural image, with the titles “Queen of Mexico,” “Empress of the Americas,” and “Patroness of the Americas.” Both Miguel Hidalgo (in the Mexican War of Independence) and Emiliano Zapata (during the Mexican Revolution) carried flags bearing the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Guadalupe Victoria, the first Mexican president, changed his name in honor of the icon.
Photos from the procession:
Before the procession
The church in Berlin
These are my little friends from the park
The Virgin of Guadalupe
A crowd begins to gather
Lots of people
This little girl looks like a doll
The flowers complete the outfits
Leaving the church
Heading to the where the procession will begin
Here comes Father Jacobo
This little guy walked with us
Dresses with the Virgin on them
Getting in place
One of my students
There's the float!
Leaving the church
From the back
These guys stood the whole way
The procession was more than an hour
Carrying torches at the front of the procession
People followed behind the float
It was a beautiful night
Take our picture, please!